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What is World Vision?

What is World Vision? What types of projects does World Vision carry out? How long has World Vision been in operation? What does "child-focused" mean? How is World Vision's work funded? Is World Vision formally tied to or a subsidiary of any other entity? Do people living in project communities pay to participate? Do World Vision projects create dependence on outside resources? How much does World Vision spend on administration and fund-raising? Who audits World Visions accounts and how can donors be sure that World Vision is managing its money properly? How is World Vision structured organisationally? How are World Vision country offices governed? World Vision describes itself as a Christian organisation. What does this mean? Are all your staff Christians then? Is evangelism part of World Vision's projects? Does World Vision only help Christians? What activities distinguish World Vision from secular humanitarian agencies?

What is World Vision? World Vision is a Christian relief and development organisation working for the well being of all people, especially children. Through emergency relief, education, health care, economic development and promotion of justice, World Vision helps impoverished communities help themselves. What types of projects does World Vision carry out?

World Vision projects can be grouped into two major areas: 1) long-term sustainable community development focusing on meeting needs identified by the community itself, like clean water, education, health care, agricultural improvements and public hygiene, and 2) shortterm emergency relief, such as providing food, shelter and medical care to victims of natural or man-made disasters. Most relief projects are designed to transition smoothly into development activities. How long has World Vision been in operation? World Vision was founded in 1950 by Dr Bob Pierce in response to the needs of Korean War orphans. Since then it has grown to include fund raising offices in 12 countries in North America, Europe and the Far East. Lately, more and more offices in countries traditionally perceived as beneficiary nations are also raising their own funds. What does "child-focused" mean? Child-focused development starts with the recognition that children are the future of any family, community and nation. It means improving the lives of children by dealing with the causes of their suffering, not just the symptoms. We recognise that children do not live in a vacuum, but in a larger context of family and community, and our work impacts all of these. For example, it is by resolving food insecurity issues in a community with irrigation systems, improved seeds and training to farmers that their children eat better and are healthier...not just this year, but in the foreseeable future. Children are the most vulnerable members of any community. Project activities are always tailored to have maximum benefit for them. Do people living in project communities pay to participate? Communities frequently contribute to development projects so they have a real sense of ownership and true participation. Give-aways have been proven not to work in development. They are taken for granted and, for the poor and disadvantaged, undermine dignity. But when local people contribute materials and labour to build a school, with World Vision providing furniture, books and training for a local teacher, the community cares about that school. It is a source of pride. It also ensures lifestyle improvements will continue after World Vision's involvement concludes.

Child Sponsorship
According to World Vision, the children accepted as part of its sponsorship program are selected by community leaders. World Vision staff verifies that the children on these lists are genuinely in need with good potential for benefiting from sponsorship-subsidized programs. Information kept by World Vision on sponsored children includes: name; gender; date of birth; general health; parents or relative having primary care responsibilities for the child; occupation of parents or head of household; number of siblings; kind of house child lives in; current grade

(if in school); favorite subject; typical foods part of the child's diet regime; and sports, hobbies and other interests expressed by the child. This information is updated by the organization once every 24 months at a minimum. Projects paid for through funds from sponsors benefit the child directly, his or her family, and the community as a whole. Some of the direct benefits a child may receive include vaccinations, schoolbooks, and payment of school fees. Examples of benefits at the family level are micro enterprise loans and agricultural training. Benefits conferred to the community may take the form of payment of teacher's salaries or drilling of wells for clean water. The HopeChild sponsorship program allows individuals to sponsor a child specifically located in a community impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Benefits of this program include healthcare, care for sick or dying parents, and HIV/AIDS prevention and counseling. World Vision asks sponsors to commit to contributing $35 per month for children and $35 per month for a HopeChildWorld Vision also has sponsors for families, but new sponsorship opportunities for families are not available. World Vision also solicits sponsors for additional gifts at other times, such as before the child's birthday or in conjunction with holidays. Individual sponsors, through their own initiative, may request to send special gifts to help benefit the child/family. The full amount from these gifts is conveyed to the child/family in accordance with the wishes of the sponsor. Annual progress reports accompanied by a new picture of the child are sent to all sponsors. These include information recounting the main news items of interest that have taken place in the child's community over the year. Project reports also often contain a letter from the project manager describing goals that have been accomplished or problems that have been encountered. Room is also provided for the child to write a brief note or draw a picture. World Vision also encourages and facilitates exchanges of other correspondence that sponsors may wish to pursue. If the child speaks a language other than English, any translation needed of letters from sponsors is performed by project staff. Ideally, the child will be the one to correspond with the sponsor. However, if the child is too young or cannot write, a relative or a World Vision staff member will help compose the letter. When this is the case, the letter is signed by the adult writing for the child.